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Orlando Jones launches animation unit Hot Chocolate Studio

Studio
With the launch of Hot Chocolate Studios, actor and comedian Orlando Jones is pioneering a new kind of animation content. He and his partners Harold Moss and Tom Vedel are tapping into Animgram technology to offer a proprietary live-animation platform for timely original content and inspire fans to create their own. The studio is named for the trio’s first initials. “I’ve been a hard-core animation fan since MAD magazine. Nearly pissed myself when I got to audition for MADtv. Then Jeffrey Katzenberg and Leslie Feldman cast me in Father of the Pride on NBC. Suddenly, I was working on the most expensive CGI animated TV show ever produced. I learned so much from the Dreamworks animation team,” Jones said in the announcement. “In 2005, I started producing diversity focused animation for mo
The Breadwinner to premiere at Toronto Film Fest

The Breadwinner to premiere at Toronto Film Fest

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Nora Twomey’s The Breadwinner will have its world premiere next month at the Toronto International Film Festival, it is understood. The film, based on the novel of the same name by Deborah Ellis, tells the story of Parvana, a young girl living under the Taliban regime in Afghanistan who, after her father’s imprisonment, disguises herself as a boy to become the family’s breadwinner. Ellis wrote the screen story, and Anita Doron delivered the screenplay. An Ireland-Canada-Luxembourg co-production, Breadwinner originated out of Kilkenny, Ireland’s Cartoon Saloon with the additional involvement of Canada’s Aircraft Pictures and Guru Studio, and Luxembourg’s Melusine Productions. GKIDS is set to distribute the film in the United States. Incidentally, the film also marks the first time tha
Hasbro sees 11 pc increase in revenue in its Q2 2017 results

Hasbro sees 11 pc increase in revenue in its Q2 2017 results

Studio
Thanks to a continued growth in franchise brands, Hasbro Gaming and partner brands Hasbro has seen an increase in revenue by 11 per cent in its Q2 2017 results. The studio’s international revenue increased $426.6 million led by an 18 per cent growth in Asia Pacific. While entertainment and licensing revenue fell one per cent to $51.5 million, franchise brand revenue increased 21 per cent and partner brand revenue grew by one per cent to $230 million. Meanwhile,,Hasbro gaming revenue increased six per cent to $113.9 million. “The Hasbro team executed another very strong quarter across the brand blueprint. Story-led brands and innovative brand initiatives drove double-digit revenue growth and an increase in operating profit margin,” said Brian Goldner, Hasbro chairman and CEO. “Franch

Rearden LLC sues two more studios and videogame maker of infringement

Studio, Technology
After having sued Walt Disney Co. for using its facial capture technology called MOVA Contour last week, Rearden LLC has sued two more studios namely Twentieth Century Fox and Paramount Pictures Inc. of copyright and trademark infringement and video game makers and video game publisher Square Enix Inc., as well as its subsidiary Crystal Dynamics of copyright and patent infringement for using its facial capture technology. The matter has been posted in the federal district court in San Francisco. Rearden, controlled by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Steve Perlman, claims that a former employee stole and unlawfully sold MOVA to companies affiliated with the visual effects firm Digital Domain. It is said that the defendants used Digital Domain to perform work with MOVA on their movies and v...
Genius promotes two of its top executives

Genius promotes two of its top executives

Studio
Genius Brands International, Inc. Genius Brands, a leading media company that creates, produces and licenses children’s multimedia entertainment content and products for global broadcast, digital and retail distribution, has promoted two of its top executives. One, Kid Genius Cartoon Channel President Deb Pierson has been named as SVP, Global Content Distribution & Marketing and Lloyd Mintz has been promoted to SVP of Worldwide Consumer Products. The announcement was made today by Genius Brands’ Chairman & CEO Andy Heyward, to whom both report directly. “Many of Genius Brands achievements of the past several years can be directly credited to the efforts of Deb Pierson and Lloyd Mintz,” said Heyward. “Both are stellar executives who are committed to our goal of providing i
DHX Media to release second season of Teletubbies tonight

DHX Media to release second season of Teletubbies tonight

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DHX Media, the leading global children’s content and brands company will release the second season of the Teletubbies series that will premiere today on the Nicky  Jr. channel at 2 p.m. (ET/PT). The returning pre-school series continues to deliver laughter, learning and fun while also welcoming exciting changes for the iconic foursome. Tinky Winky, Dipsy, Laa-Laa and Po will discover new areas of Teletubbyland, extend their friendship to the adorable Tiddlytubbies and ride on the brand new honk honk Tubby Car. Josh Scherba, EVP of Distribution and Content at DHX Media, said, “We are delighted to have the Teletubbies return to the U.S. for season two especially since Nick Jr.’s far-reaching network will enable kids across America to access the show during the summer holidays.” Teletub
Disney and Pixar announce release dates of their upcoming flagship movies

Disney and Pixar announce release dates of their upcoming flagship movies

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For Disney and Pixar fans, here is some good news. At the D23 Expo 2017, filmmakers from Walt Disney and Pixar Animation Studios came out with new details about their upcoming movie slates introducing key voice talent. John Lasseter teamed up with the stars and filmmakers from both studios to present new details, footage, behind-the-scenes looks and images from a host of upcoming films. “I’m so excited about our upcoming movies; they are all hilarious, emotional, beautiful and make you think,” averred Lasseter, who serves as executive producer on all animated titles. “It’s a great mix of incredibly creative and surprising new worlds and characters and stories we love returning to. Our filmmakers are putting so much heart into these films – I can’t wait for people to see them.” Lassete
Marvel comes out with a raft of announcements

Marvel comes out with a raft of announcements

Studio
Yesterday, Marvel Animation took to the stage at D23 Expo to make key announcements of two super-powered series that revealed the premiere date and voice cast for Marvel’s Spider-Man, announcing a third season for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout and naming the next LEGO Marvel Super Heroes special. As announced by SVP of Animation & Family Entertainment Cort Lane and Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada at the packed panel, Marvel’s Spider-Man will make its debut on August 19 on Disney XD, the Disney XD app and its VOD. The Spider-Man voice cast includes Robbie Daymond (Bread Winners, Get Blake) as Spider-Man, Max Mittleman  (One-Punch Man) as Harry Osborn, Nadji Jeter (Jessie) as Miles Morales, Melanie Minichino (Blaze and the Monster Machine) as Anya Corazon, Fre
Mickey Mouse Club is being revived

Mickey Mouse Club is being revived

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The Mickey Mouse Club, which aired constantly between 1955 and 1996 and helped generate the careers of Britney Spears, Justin Timberlake and Ryan Gosling, is being reinvented for today’s digital-and social-first audience. Currently in production in multiple locations across L.A., Club Mickey Mouse is produced by newly launched Disney Digital Network. It will premiere in August as a Facebook- and Instagram-exclusive series via the Oh My Disney brand. First announced at Disney’s NewFronts in May, the series will feature a cast of eight authentic, on-the-rise influencers and digital-first creators who happen to also have strong singing, dancing and acting abilities. In addition, the cast will be joined by a pair of yet-to-be-announced DDN influencers according to Disney Consumer Products
Cartoon Network Amazone named one of top water parks in Asia

Cartoon Network Amazone named one of top water parks in Asia

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Cartoon Network Amazone has been named as one of the top water parks in Asia by the TripAdvisor Travelers Choice Awards 2017. The awards were given out based on millions of traveller reviews with Cartoon Network Amazone’s report exposing the impressive volume of photos and videos taken and uploaded by its guests over the last year. Liakat Dhanji, Chairman & CEO of Cartoon Network Amazone said, “We are all so very proud that this excellent ranking by TripAdvisor showcases our park’s Asia standing and we especially thank all our hundreds of thousands of guests that we have welcomed since we opened.” Being recognized by TripAdvisor confirms that our fans love sharing their experiences and the information we learn from guest reviews just drives us to keep on improving and deliver the